tv PBS News Hour PBS March 27, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, the trump administration attempts to move past last week's health care defeat only to be struck by mounting questions over russia connections. then, thousands take to the streets in anti-government protests across russia marking the largest show of defiance in recent years. and, turkey's economic freefall: how political upheaval and terrorism are threatening the nation's once thriving markets. >> the city is very quiet now, tourists, they don't come, the locals don't come, because we're right in the middle of the city but, but the bombings and everything are not too far from here, so people are kind of scared. >> woodruff: plus, our politics
monday team is here. after last week's drama, who can work with whom, and for what? all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> our tradition has been to take care of mother earth,
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thank you. >> woodruff: friday's failure to get a house vote on replacing obamacare is still reverberating tonight. but the president and his team are having trouble trying to shift to new topics. john yang has our report. >> we're not saying its the end of healthcare but we're looking to look for a way forward. >> yang: at the white house today, press secretary sean spicer was the public face of the effort to move beyond the humiliating collapse of president trump's attempt to repeal the affordable care act. >> and i think what this event on friday did was frankly draw more people into the process to saying okay, let's figure out if we can actually come together with some consensus ideas to get to 218 whether or not they come from one side of the aisle or the other to pass this bill and >> yang: but much of the day was dominated by mounting questions
about the house intelligence committee chairman's revelation that trump transition communications had been intercepted. today, nunes acknowledged he got that information during a meeting with a source, not a white house official, in the old executive office building in the white house complex. today, spicer said he couldn't say with certainty that the white house was not the source of nunes' information. >> what i can tell you through his public comments is that he has said that he had multiple sources that he came to a conclusion on. to the degree to which any of those sources weighed on the ultimate outcome of what he came to a decision on i don't know and that's something frankly i don't know he discussed with the president. >> so its possible as far as.. >> i mean anything's possible. >> yang: meanwhile, white house officials said the president's close adviser and son-in-law jared kushner has volunteered to meet with the senate intelligence committee to talk about meetings he arranged with the russian ambassador during the transition.
the president sought to give the appearance of business as usual, signing four bills into law to roll-back regulations put in place by the obama administration. and he joined daughter ivanka and vice president pence in a meeting with women entrepreneurs. aides said the president's next major legislative initiative will be an ambitious overhaul of the tax code-- and this time the white house will be in charge. >> obviously, we're driving the train on this. we're going to work with congress. >> yang: for the pbs newshour, i'm john yang. >> woodruff: later this afternoon, senate democratic leader schumer said devin nunes should be removed as chair of the house intelligence committee. in the day's other news, wall street fought against fears that the health care bill's collapse means trouble for the trump economic agenda. the dow jones industrial average
dropped nearly 200 points at the outset, before ending with a loss of 45 points to close near 20,551. the nasdaq rose 11 points, and the s&p 500 slipped two. turkey's citizens who live abroad began voting today on dramatically expanding president recep tayyip erdogan's powers. more than 2.5 million turks were eligible to vote across europe. and political divisions were on display, as they turned out in france, germany and other countries. ( translated ): this is about turkey's future right now because they are trying to change the republic or democracy into a dictatorship of one man and i'm against that. >> ( translated ): we are sticking together for turkey and the future of the turkish republic. we have a turkish republic and we will say yes all the way to the end. we are here to support the stability of our country. >> woodruff: the referendum has strained relations between turkey and several european states that barred turkish
officials from campaigning in their territory. voting inside turkey begins next month. the major political parties in northern ireland will get several more weeks to reach a new power-sharing deal. the british government extended today's deadline after negotiators failed to get an agreement over the weekend. northern ireland's catholic- protestant unity government collapsed in january. the alternative would be returning the province to direct rule by london. in australia, a cyclone began blasting its way onshore early tuesday, with winds of 140 miles-an-hour. the target was the northeastern state of queensland, where the eye of the storm was due to make landfall within hours. people packed sandbags ahead of the storm. and, up to 30,000 people were urged to evacuate the coastal region. and, historian, journalist and civil rights activist roger wilkins died sunday, after suffering dementia.
wilkins held a top civil rights post in the johnson administration during the 1960's. he went on to write editorials for "the washington post" during the watergate scandal. and for years, he was a frequent newshour guest. roger wilkins was 85 years old. still to come on the newshour: protests across russia galvanize putin's critics. claims of up to 200 civilians killed by a u.s. air strike in iraq. patients still in limbo without a republican plan to replace obamacare, and much more. >> woodruff: now, widespread protests broke out in cities across russia's eleven time zones yesterday, to denounce government corruption. chief foreign affairs correspondent margaret warner begins our coverage.
>> warner: the sentence for kremlin critic alexei navalny was handed down this morning in moscow: 15 days in jail for resisting police. he was also fined 20,000 rubles, about $350, for organizing yesterday's mass protests against alleged government corruption. >> ( translated ): i think yesterday's events have shown there is a large number of voters in russia who support a candidate who speaks for the fight against corruption. these people demand political representation, and i strive to >> warner: the demonstrations were the biggest show of defiance against president vladimir putin since 2012. tens of thousands rallied in 99 cities, from st. petersburg and moscow in the west, to chita in siberia, to the far pacific coast port of vladivostok. navalny generated the protests, in part, to demand the resignation of prime minister and former president dmitry medvedev. navalny released a video earlier
this month showcasing myriad mansions, yachts and vineyards medvedev allegedly has amassed. hundreds of protestors were arrested yesterday in moscow and elsewhere. today, the european union called for their release. a putin spokesman said: "the kremlin respects people's civic stance and their right to voice their position. we can't express the same respect to those who consciously misled people and provoked illegal actions." white house spokesman sean spicer said today: >> the united states will monitor the situation and we call on the government of russia to immediately release all peaceful protesters. >> warner: for his part, navalny has announced plans to challenge putin for president in 2018. but his eligibility to do so is in question, over previous criminal charges. for the pbs newshour, i'm margaret warner. >> woodruff: for more on the protests, president putin, and where this goes from here i'm joined by journalist and author
masha gessen. she's a contributing opinion writer to the "new york times," and among her books is a study of the russian president entitled: "the man without a face: the unlikely rise of vladimir putin." she joins me from new york. masha gessen, thank you very much for joining us. 99 cities, the biggest demonstrations in five years. just how significant was this? >> it's not just the biggest in five years. it is the first time since 1993 that russians have come out into the streets without an explicit permission from the government to do so. the main difference between the protests of 2011, 2012 and these protests today is they didn't have permits. these were people who were coming out into the streets, very young people for the most part, who knew they were all risking arrest. it's an extraordinary event.
>> woodruff: you say young people. who are the people, mainly, who turned out? >> judging from the video and photo footage, from eyewitness accounts and arrest records, this is the youngest crowd we've seen. most are in their 30s and a lot are high school students. they are people who have never lived in russia without putin. >> reporter: much had to do with this video of medvedev, the prime minister. what was it in that that triggered this reaction? >> it's not just a video. it's a huge investigative project carried out by an anti-corruption organization. they put together a story and they put together a film that demonstrated and meticulously documented the scale of corruption on the part of russia's prime minister. >> reporter: and what was it
about the scale of corruption? we mentioned some of it, the houses. >> the houses, the 50 pairs of sneakers, or however many he orders every month. it's obscene, and i think that that's a really important aspect of it. it's not just that he has a lot of money, it's that he behaves obscenely with that amount of money. it is unimaginable indecency, and it has been made public. >> woodruff: given the level of repression in russia, masha gessen, what do protesters think they can accomplish? >> i don't think they're protesters who have a specific goal in mind as we're going to come out into the streets and get this done. i think, again, these are very young people, so they may not be fully aware of the threat that they are facing. the last protest in russia five
years ago ended in a massive crackdown and in dozens arrests of peaceful demonstrators who went to prison for years at a time. so i think it's likely that the same fate will face these young people. i think they may even need a greater crackdown to put an end to these protests, because these are young people who don't watch television and who won't be quite as afraid of jail just because they are so young. so what i really fear is if these protests continue is the kind of violence in the streets that we haven't seen before in russia. >> woodruff: you've mentioned a couple of times the threat that they face. how real is the threat? what could happen to these people if they continue to come out in the streets? >> well, what has happened to protesters in the past was basically the government in 2012 put an end to a series of mass protests by changing laws, by making it possible to arrest anybody for protest, and by
making basically a show of imprisoning not just protest leaders and not specifically the protest leaders but activists, rank and file protest participants, then gets across the idea that anybody who joins a protest without being an organizer, without a visible leader risks arrest, and not just arrest but years in a russian jail. >> woodruff: do you see anything changing about this regime as a result of this level of public distrust of this government? >> yes and no. i mean, these protesters came out against corruption, which is a little bit different from coming out against -- politically against this regime. importantly, they are not protesting the war in ukraine, they are not protesting the murder of opposition leaders. they are protesting the
government, this gives opportunity for anti-corruption measures, to find somebody else who can be accused of corruption, to make a show of fighting corruption. but i think these protesters at this point are stop ago little bit short of demanding to the putin regime. their demands are not explicitly political nature, they are really demanding good government, but that could change. >> woodruff: masha gessen, journalist and author, we thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: now, a bombing in iraq by the american-led coalition leads to scores of dead. john yang has that. >> yang: the airstrike happened in the al-jadida neighborhood of western mosul, amid pitched fighting between isis militants and iraqi government forces.
the reports from the scene are gruesome-- more than 100 dead. for more on this, and the brutal battle there, i'm joined from erbil, in norther iraq, via skype, by loveday morris of the "washington post." loveday, thanks for joining us. i know it's very late there. it's been ten days since this incident took place. the pentagon said air assault took place march 17th. what do we know about what happened? >> what happened was iraqi forces sent bombs into an i.s.i.s.-held area, one where residents say there were a lot of i.s.i.s. fighters fighting from the rooftops and they were sheltering in their homes, and as the iraqi forces advanced, there was heavy bombardment on this neighborhood, and there are allegations of actually multiple sites hit by u.s. airstrikes,
but one building they have pulled out more than 100 bodies and that's an alleged site of a track. >> the iraqis are saying it was booby trapped by i.s.i.s. >> that's right. they said they made an initial investigation and this particular building was booby trapped by i.s.i.s. initially commanders blamed it on an i.s.i.s. column that collapsed. several conflicting stories. iraqi civil defense, the rescue workers pulling the bodies out of the building, the experts say it's caused by an airstrikes. the u.s. coalition said it carried out a strike to have the location of the accusations of mass civilian casualties. >> yang: president trump said they wanted give commanders in the field more flexibility. what do we know about the rules covering airstrikes like these
i?have they changed since president trump came into the office? >> what we know is no change at all to the rules of engagement at all. the iraqis are saying that as well, no official changes in the rules of engagement. there seems to be a speeding of the process that made the process faster. it's really unclear what exactly causing this. there is been a spike, now, in civilian cawrkts in both iraq and syria. >> yang: and this is in mosul, some of the most intense urban fighting, street to street, house to house. what is the impact on the civilian population? >> a huge impact. a huge amount of ordinates. heavy weaponry and booby traps. really, you talk to civilians coming out of mosul, they have
been in their basements for weeks on end, they're absolutely terrified. i.s.i.s. seizing rooftops and makes them keep their front doors open, so they're very scared of airstrikes. people are coming out. no food and water inside, the area is under siege. ates terrible situation. >> yang: are they able to flee? >> some are, some aren't. they normally can't flee until the iraqi security forces get to their area. what has happened in some cases, i.s.i.s. will send a wave of civilians out and order them to leave their homes. the iraqis will have to hold fire if there's a big wave of civilians coming out, it really slows them down. so sometimes people come out like that. other times, i.s.i.s. keeps them in, keeps them blocked in their neighborhood, use them as human
shields. in that case, i mean, anytime people are coming out, they're always caught in very dangerous crossfire. you have snipers, pore tars. yeah, it's tough for people to get out for sure. >> yang: loveday morris, "the washington post." thanks for joining us and be safe. >> thank you. >> woodruff: stay with us, coming up on the newshour: turkey's political turmoil breeds economic uncertainty for the u.s. ally. and it's politics monday. amy walter and tamara keith survey the landscape after the collapse of the health care bill. but first, what's next for the future of the affordable care act, and the consumers who are using it? after the republican bill was withdrawn friday, house speaker paul ryan said "obamacare remains the law of the land" for now. but there are problems that need
to be addressed. president obama himself has said so. more than 20 million people are now getting coverage through the insurance marketplaces and a medicaid expansion. lisa desjardins looks at the big questions ahead. >> desjardins: one major issue: the health of the marketplaces for individuals who get insurance on their own. for them, premiums rose by an average of 25% this year. what's happening? in part, the exchanges need more younger and healthier adults to enroll. our team has been fanning out across the country to hear about americans' concerns. we start with a small business in salt lake city, and younger adults who are not buying coverage now. >> my name is patricia smith, i'm 33 years old, and i'm the manager for camp bow wow. i have had to pay the penalties before the a.c.a., insurance was much more reasonable for me to be able to afford insurance. the healthcare act came up, and although the first time when i applied i was able to get subsidies when i filed taxes at
the end of the year, they ended up telling me that as a matter of fact, i shouldn't have been able to get subsidies, and i had to pay all of them back. moving forward from that point on, i was really not in a position to be able to afford health insurance anymore. you know, if i had chosen to get insurance, the cost of living for me would've changed my grocery bills, i wouldn't be able to afford my gas, my mortgage. it really would take a toll on everything. i definitely do worry about not having insurance. there's a lot of what-ifs, even last year, i took a tumble down the stairs and ended up in an instacare, and there's just a lot of worries that go with that. >> i'm john garrett. i'm 24 years old, and i am a front desk associate here at camp bow wow. i'm not very worried about not having health insurance at the moment, because i'm pretty young, and i don't have that much going on with me, so if i can, you know, afford to skip that bill and save that, that much money a month, i definitely would prefer to do that. we did have to pay a penalty for
not having health insurance. so, the first year it was about $200 and that wasn't a big deal at the time. the next year, i think it was double, about $400, and then the year after that, it was $700. >> i think it's a little silly for me to have to pay for something that i simply can't afford anyways. >> desjardins: at the same time, there are concerns about out-of- pocket costs. let's meet a woman in ohio who has a chronic health problem and is grateful for the coverage she receives through the affordable care act. she was politically active in opposing the republican bill. but says even the current law could be improved. >> my name is mindy hedges, i live in randor, ohio, delaware county. and my age is 61. i'm a type 1 diabetic.
that means a lot of medication, and i test myself, my blood sugar, about six to eight times a day. it is a lot of medicines that i need to take. i'm on an insulin pump, very expensive. my pharmaceuticals are about $1,200 dollars a month. i had a, my own company, for 18 years, and the recession hit and the business closed, i tried to get insurance and couldn't. nobody would cover me, because i have a preexisting condition. so i was begging for people were giving me supplies? i had a friend that worked in the medical field that was giving me insulin? and, and
syringes? i was waiting for the affordable care act to come into to get passed! finally, it did. and, i was so thankful. we pay a substantial amount, but i still get a, a subsidy for it. so, my payment right now is $445 a month. it's not a system that, that is that is pure? and i'm sure that it has some, some things that need to be fixed? and, if only we could just fix them, instead of coming up with something that is so totally broken. >> desjardins: that's a sampling of the concerns we heard across the country. let's get our hands around what exactly will happen now with health care. problems remain, but how will insurers and all of us handle them? mary agnes carey of kaiser health news is here to walk through some of these issues. thank you for joining us, mary agnes. >> thanks for having me. >> desjardins: lose start with something president trump said
friday. listen. >> i have been saying for the last year and a half that the best thing we can do politically speaking is let obamacare explode. it is exploding right now. many states have big problems, almost all states have big problems. >> desjardins: now, it's obviously a piece of rhetoric, but it certainly echoed around washington. i'll just ask you right away, will obamacare explode? is that accurate? and regardless to the answer of at the question, where are the real problems now? >> i don't think it will explode. there are definitely problems with the affordability. you mentioned the average 25% increase in the federal exchanges. rural areas, the prices tend to be higher, urban areas, the prices tend to be lower. it depends on where you live. are insurers getting into the market, how much competition are this between the doctors and the hospitals, that sort of thing between the providers and market + but that's the variance fovment there are year, for a
40--year-old nonsmoker in louisville, kentucky, $229 a month. in anchorage, $904, but there was before the subsidies that help eight in ten people in the exchanges lower the price. >> desjardins: seems like rural areas receive the biggest problems. now, congress, seems, is not planning to do anything to repair the system at least in the foreseeable future but insurers have no choice. they have to take action. what are the decisions facing irsurers coming up? >> they have to decide by june, was parkway by, the administration moved it back because of the healthcare debate we have been covering on capitol hill. by june they need to get in their premium estimates so they will be looking at their experience in the market, ho are they covering, how psych have these people been, the sick folks came in first, very expensive, some thought the 25% premium jump coul would be an
anomaly. what's the marketplace with the insurers, they're trying to get a full look atv thing. they will also be wondering if the trump administration will enforce the individual mandate, the requirement most americans have coverage and pay a fine. insurers like it because it makes the healthy and sicker people get in. >> like the younger people we heard mention in the piece. they were thinking about the beenlt. the question is whether the trump administration will force them to play it. >> because the younger people tend to be healthier and the more of those people in the risk pools the better off the premiums, usually. >> u.s. health secretary tom price, what decisions he thinking about w.h.a. when it comes to the affordable care act and the healthcare system? >> he could do things administratively. the affordable care act gives the health and human services secretary lots and lots of power. he could examine the essential health benefits, the ten
categories that include maternity care, emergency servings, mental health services and perhaps give insurers a little more flexibility over whether or not they have to offer those. we talk about the medicaid program. they may be a lot more open to new approaches from states including work requirements for the medicaid beneficiaries. back to the affordable care act, there is the other area of subsidies -- there is freedom preem yum subs kids, cost sharing subsidies, part of the the legal battle, but the trump administration and republicans in congress could decide not to fund these. about 60% of the people who get help on exchanges get the help with cost shares, help can poe pace and other out of pocket deductibilities and if they did that they would have a problem with insurers. >> there is help for people to pay when you get to the doctor. >> the out of pocket. and the republicans could decide not to provide that money. insurers are worried if republicans don't, then they will have people who don't pay.
>> if they don't have the money, they can't make the deductible or co-pay. if they went ahead with that, they could have pushback from the insurers. >> desjardins:, at the end of the day, what should people p be thinking about and how much would their life change under obamacare? >> take a breath. this has been confusing. look at your own health insurance situation. if you're on the ex changes or thinking about them, as we head into fall with the next enrollment perked you, see what your options are, healthcare.gov is the marketplace, you can work with a broker and insurance agents who's offering coverage. your current plan, providers covered, and what's your total out of pocket premium and deductible. >> desjardins: thank you for joining us.
>> thank you. >> woodruff: turkey once boasted that its economy was the star of so-called developing markets. but, political uncertainty and increasing terrorism from both isis and kurdish separatists have sent key economic numbers tumbling; and ratings agencies have slashed the country's credit worthiness. international concerns about next month's referendum which could give erdogan greater power are also contributing to the economy's decline. and, a push to increase islam's place in public life is driving some turks to consider leaving their homeland. special correspondent malcolm brabant reports from istanbul. >> reporter: there's a touch of desperation about this sign, with its plea for custom. it's a message which resonates in turkey. the people in this cafe are tour guides who've swollen the ranks of the unemployed. among them, mert taner. >> after all those explosions and terror attacks, by al qaeda,
isis, the p.k.k., nearly 80% of the anglo saxon business which i'm personally involved in it, people from north america, britain, australia, new zealand, they stopped coming to turkey. >> reporter: the slump in tourist numbers is the worst ever. sheref aral, says that after the new year's eve nightclub massacre, the outlook has never been more bleak. >> every bomb that has happened, i've changed my plan and adapted it to the new situation. but every plan that i did collapsed again one more time. >> reporter: turkish airlines aired this ad at the superbowl, following losses of $463 million in the first nine months of 2016, after turning an $877 million profit the previous year. tourism contributes about ten
percent towards turkey's overall national income. it's a barometer of confidence in the country and crucial for foreign currency earnings nobody is buying at ertap tepeyurt's jewelry store in one of istanbul's most popular arcades. but he refuses to believe the economy is permanently hobbled. >> ( translated ): every downturn is followed by an upturn. a large company may collapse and then it may take a long time to recover. our hope is that things will eventually be alright, so because of this expectation, we need to be more patient. >> reporter: turkey briefly benefited from the misfortune of tunisia and egypt whose tourist industries have been wrecked by terrorism. but the impact of contagion is plain to see and restaurant worker levent demir is hoping for an antidote. >> ( translated ): first of all, for things to get better, syria is critical. order needs to be restored in syria. because turkey is suffering from what's going on syria. the circle of fire around us needs
to be extinguished. >> reporter: to make matters worse, turkish ports won't be welcoming cruise liners this year. terrorism and political uncertainty have led ratings agencies like standard and poor and fitch to relegate the country to the lowest investment grades. in an attempt to bolster the turkish currency, the lira, president erdogan made people's savings an issue of patriotism >> ( translated ): recently, they started a row on foreign currencies. they say dollar spiked this much, that much. it doesn't matter. i want to remind my people, my dear people, i love you. those who keep foreign currency under their pillow should come and turn that into turkish lira or gold. let turkish lira gain value. >> reporter: president erdogan has never been reticent in using the label terrorist. and did so after the turkish currency dived against the dollar earlier this year, he said "you know that the economy is manipulated for the objective
of attacking turkey. there is no single difference between the terrorist who carries a weapon in his hand and the terrorist who possesses a dollar or euro in his pocket. they use currency as a weapon." turkey's president is bolstered by cheerleaders in the press. among them abdurahman dilipak, a columnist with an islamist tabloid newspaper who we met in the executive suite at the istanbul stock exchange. he believes there's international backing for feto, an organization accused by turkey of orchestrating last summer's coup attempt against president erdogan. >> ( translated ): we know that behind this feto movement there is the united states, the c.i.a., the rand corporation, also there is the vatican germany, israel, england and france. we know. and in that respect manipulation of the economy must be acknowledged. it's only natural that there should be turbulence in a country which is just recovering from a coup attempt. but some people are fanning the flames. no, this is immoral and
unacceptable. >> ordinary people feel they need more economic stability. >> reporter: but economist umit akcay says the key numbers affecting ordinary people are going the wrong way, like unemployment, which now affects 12% of the population. >> inflation is increasing, and at the same time, the unemployment rate is increasing. it's especially bad for the young people, because the young unemployment rate is about 20%. in 2017 nearly all data shows that this trend will continue. >> reporter: president erdogan insists that foreign funds continue to flow into turkey, but other financial experts believe that continuing political uncertainty will lead to capital flight, as happened in greece, with the wealthy moving their money abroad. gokhan karahan is a consultant at the sharp end of this process, as he helps turks to buy property in countries that will grant them residency, such
as neighboring greece. >> i am having more people that they just need a plan b. there's a growing concern about their children. especially young women who have small children who were raised with secular ideas, they're so much concerned about the future of their country, they want to have some sort of guarantee for their future. >> i just feel surrounded by people that i don't share anything with. >> reporter: literary agent ayser ali is alarmed by what she sees as turkey's growing abandonment of western values and is joining the steady trickle of educated young professionals quietly slipping abroad. >> i'm really sorry to see how hard it is to build a good society with values and how easy it is to destroy it in a very, very short time. >> reporter: ayser ali is packing up her books to give to friends before moving to
britain. >> the only thing we can do is to try somewhere else. i always had even a little spark of hope all the time. but now it's over. >> reporter: but janset bilgin isn't leaving. for six years she ran a small jewelry and furniture store. when business slumped, she decided she either had to close up or invest. she gambled and transformed it into a cafe. >> i know the timing is really bad because the city is very quiet now, tourists, they don't come, the locals don't come, because we're right in the middle of the city but, but the bombings and everything are not too far from here, so people are kind of scared. i really don't see a hopeful future. but on the other hand, we love our country and don't want to go anywhere. >> reporter: president erdogan insists turkey is a safe haven for foreign investment. but financial experts warn that turkey cannot afford economic or political missteps. they fear the present course will only increase the country's
financial troubles. for the pbs newshour, i'm malcolm brabant in istanbul. >> woodruff: there are a number of questions facing republicans in washington right now. from the failure to pass a healthcare bill to the investigation into russia and the trump administration. we look now at what's next for the majority party with our politics monday duo: tamara keith of npr and amy walter of the "cook political report." hello to both of you. so let's start with what -- tam, with with what the speaker said last friday in trying to explain why this whole thing fell apart. he said, we haven't learned to be the majority party. we haven't learned how to lead. we're still stuck in the opposition. does that sound like the right description of what went wrong? is that something they can learn? >> it certainly is a
description. turns out that winning does not paper over all the divisions that were there a year ago or two years ago or three years ago within the republican party, and those divisions came out into bright focus with this bill. the reality is they actually have a smaller majority than they did last year, and they were not able to send at the many bills to president obama's desk to veto. now they have a president of their own party, as one congressman said, it's like going from playing fantasy football to real football. >> woodruff: and this is after months and months, tam, of talking about the fact they were going to undo this. this was their principle goal during this campaign. >> absolutely. that was the thing that they talked about, it's the thing they have been talking about for seven years. they only worked on it for 18 days. then they were like, well, moving on. seems like, now, they are
holding open the possibility of maybe coming back to it. >> woodruff: amy, what's your take? is this something the republicans can learn how to be, the majority in charge? >> i think tam summed it up well, the fact they only spent 18 days on something is issue one. the second is that two-thirds of members in the house now who are republicans have never been with a republican president, so this is a brand-new situation for them. and the divisions, i would argue, within the republican party have been around longer than the last couple of years. they have been around for ten or 12 years. so this is a lot to overcome. i think the other thing we learned, though, is donald trump style, which worked on the campaign trail, let's rally and take one for the team, i can bring the team together in a campaign. didn't work in a legislative sense. it's not enough to sea, hey members of my own party, vote for something that's likely unpop lay. i can't really talk to you about the details of this policy.
i'm not ideologically attached to this piece of legislation, i can't tell you i want to spend a whole lot of time selling this legislation but vote for it because you like me. the party said that's not enough. it's an important factor as we go forward to whatever piece of legislation that this congress wants to get through. the power of persuasion of this president isn't enough, even though he remains popular among his own base. >> woodruff: for sure, and, tam, i mean, this brings to mind, while the republicans are trying to figure out what they can get done, meanwhile, the president was saying to democrats, hey, i'm looking for your ideas. let me know what you think. i'm ready to deal with you. are democrats going to follow up on that? >> that's a good question. this president has a pretty remarkable ability, going back to when he was in business, to reflame defeats as wins. so he had four business bankruptcies and found a way to say those are actually wins for him. so now he has taken this and it
is a huge political defeat. he said, maybe that's better because now i can work two democrats. it's not clear at this point the democrats are really interested in handing him a win. however, there will come things like whether there is a government showdown and there could come a time when democrats will possibly throw a life preserver to avoid being blamed for shutting the government down, but we aren't there yet. >> woodruff: amy. tam is right. the question is what incentives do democrats have to work with this president? right now, h he has done nothing. actually, he hasn't done anything throughout his time as a candidate or president to reach out to anybody besides the people who already support him. now after a defeat, he's going to come to them and ask for their help? they don't have much incentive to do that. he's a president now sitting at somewhere around 41% approval rating if you put all the averages of the polls together. even for red-state democrats, they don't see a whole lot to
fear either from crossing him. more important for democrats, the democratic base is energized. they are angry, and they are telling pollsters the number one thing they're concerned about is their own party's members compromising with this president. so the president has really boxed himself into a corner. he needs his people to support him, and just beingr being rah-, team player, sing to the base, isn't working for him. >> woodruff: he needs to get something up on the board. how much is he politically set back from what happened last week? >> this is a big setback legislatively. he's going to do things that are small bawl, chippy wins in the coming days. >> woodruff: chippy? yeah, he's going to sign only executive orders. there is not a long drive down
the fairway, these are chips. he'll sign executive orders. in terms of legislation, that's pardoner and now they're saying they want to move to tax reform. tax reform is mott the easy thing you go to after health care. tax reform, they haven't done that in 30 years. >> woodruff: amy, not the easiest thing. >> no, and before that testimony alluded to. this we have something at the end of april where the government funding runs out and we pay be back in the situation where we're talking about a potential government showdown. again we're talking about fissures within the republican party over issues like plapped. on the democratic side there is going to be a pushback for mony to build the wall on the border. we could be talking about not the tax reform in the next couple of weeks but government showdown. that will be the next big hurdle for this president. he could get with the supreme court nomination, a pretty significant win under his belt before them, but that's also
going to be really messy. >> woodruff: before i let you two go, i have to ask you about the other story that is the talk of washington today has to do, tam, with the chairman of the house intelligence committee devin nunes who is the center of a lot of attention because of his claim last week that he has information, doesn't say where it came from, he was at the white house when he got this information that he says indicates the president and people around him were under suveillance during the transition. he said it has nothing to do with the russia investigation. what are we to make of all this? >> he's really saying they were caught up in other routine and completely legal surveillance. this is a very curious story, and devin nunes keeps talking and talking and every time he talks, it almost becomes less clear than before. >> woodruff: amy? that's exactly right. i do think, though, this is putting a lot of pressure on
republicans to make a statement about this, whether or not he can be considered a credible chair of this committee, whether or not he has to recuse himself from this. senator schumer already came out today saying he should step down as chair of the swedges committee. this is this big swirling black cloudy. for those of you who enjoyed the show lost, there is a big cloud that would show up out of nowhere and spread destruction. but that's what this issue of russia and surveillance has become, and it pops up and continues to distract the administration and really push them off course and it put nunes into a terrible position. i think the pressure is coming on republicans in coming days whether their chairman can stay in his current role. >> woodruff: black cloud, black mass. >> black smoke.
>> woodruff: black smoke covers it all. amy walter, tamera keith, "politics monday," thank you both. >> you're welcome. >> woodruff: finally, a re- examination of a couple whose story has been made even more relevant for our time. jeffrey brown has this latest addition to the newshour bookshelf. >> brown: the most famous couple in history-- that's one way of looking at adam and eve, but a useful one if you're seeking lessons in their story that continue to resonate into our own time. that's the tag taken in "the first love story: adam, eve, and us." author bruce feiler writes widely on biblical and other issues and he was writer and host of the pbs series, "walking the bible and sacred journeys." welcome to you. >> nice to be here. thank you for having me. >> brown: i wasn't sure what i was opening up. i expected to see something about the bible and archaeology and i did but you also write
about yourself, about relationships, about modern technology. what were you after in looking at their story? out at every moment, at every to this story and what happened to me was we were on a trip to rome as a family and we took my daughters into the sistine chapel and i'm like, "look up girls i'm going to blow your mind." and one of them looks up and sees adam and god sailing across the skies. >> brown: the famous moment where they're touching. >> the famous moment and says, "well, you know, where am i in that picture?" this is from the point of view of an eight year old girl. and her sister-- my mom's an something i'd never seen before which is eve underneath god's arm. and she says, you know, "is that eve?" and i-- that's just when it hit me and i realized for 3,000 years this story has been at the heart of every conversation about men, women and sex and if i want to understand today maybe i needed to understand them and as absurd as it sounds, i asked myself, "might adam and eve be the role models that we are looking for? >> brown: so, okay, go back to the original adam and eve, becuse you had to, right? >> yes exactly.
i'm not going to get an interview with adam and eve. and i think that what you have here is a situation where adam and eve but especially eve are victims of the greatest character assassination the world has ever known. basically, the story was weaponized as way to elevate men and to hurt women. and you go back to the story-- that's not what you find. i mean i think the first thing just to sort of set the stage briefly is you've got two stories. the second story is more famous, right? adam was created from the earth, eve being created adam, the fruit and getting kicked out of eden. but the first story is very different because in the first story you've got man and woman being created in the image of god, what's true for one is true for the other, the whole story begins in equality. and that's what got lost in all of these interpretations.
give me an example for the audience of how you're bringing your story up to our own time. >> in every other story you have a god creating humans and a human. it's the first story that has a man and woman at the start of the human line. they have to succeed in order for us to succeed. so quhie are they a model? because they begin to gather and eve gets bored. she wants autonomy, she eats the fruit. she comes back, gives adam a choice, and he has to decide what do i do? he chooses her. they leave eden. they could separate. they stay together and have they reconcile and have a third. >> brown: i mean i must say, you know, one of my colleagues was looking at the book today and i said what i was doing and i was -- he said, you know, this story doesn't end well, right? i mean all this -- there's the fall, there's the banishment, there's all this trouble. how is that a model? >> it ends brilliantly. most people think it ends in eden.
no. they become parents. it doesn't go well with cain and abel -- that could be the end of the story. they reconcile, have a third child. it's incredibly inspirational. so what i think the lesson are? number one, constancy. stick to it-iveness. the modern psychologists tell us that you have to mend relationships, that's the most important thing. then there's also this incredible balance in the story, this mix of independence and interdependence. it's incredibly powerful today that didn't happen again until we re-equalized eve in the last couple of decades. but to me the biggest idea that i've learned is -- i basically went in to write a book about adam and eve. i wrote a book about love. and what did i learn? love is a story that you tell with another person. it's co-creation through co- narration and that's what adam and eve embody and what do we learn from them? you have a rupture, you add a new chapter to your story. they are the first to tell a story together and to recognize you need both. there's is the first joint byline. and that's a very powerful
lesson for today. >> brown: the question you ask here is can adam and eve be role models for relationships today and the answer apparently is yes. >> i believe deeply and profoundly and more than that i think we need the story to work. at this moment relationships are commodities and we let each other down and our society is being frayed, we all know that. we need our first story to be one of success. so essentially what i'm saying to people is if you care about men and women and their relationship, if you want to strengthen and deepen your own relationship, if you're interested in love or religion come on this journey because i think as you said here, you'll be surprised, you'll learn something. but i think in the end you'll be uplifted because this story works and today we need stories that work at the heart of our culture. >> brown: the book is "the first love story: adam, eve, and us." bruce feiler, thank you very much. >> it's an honor, thank you. >> woodruff: on the newshour online right now, read and hear poetry written by refugees and
immigrants about finding home, leaving loved ones, and more. these poems are part of a national campaign that's finding special resonance with readers now. all that and more is on our web site, pbs.org/newshour. and that's the newshour for tonight. on tuesday, syrian refugees fleeing civil war find they are increasingly less welcome in the neighboring country of turkey. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> it's hard not to feel pride as a citizen of this country when we're in a place like this.
>> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at macfound.org >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening looking at the health care debate in washington. we begin with kelsey snell of "the washington post" and al hunt of "bloomberg view." >> the vote today in the house and friday, the decision to pull the health care bill i must admit was a shocker for me. i thought if you get this close you're going to pass it and the stakes are so big, this is a devastating defeat for prine, donald trump but also for the republican party. >> rose: we continue with mike allen of axios. >> that's the take away from today, charlie is now everything else will be harder. the tax reform and eventually infrastructure and whatever they want to do on immigration, just among republicans there is not trust, there is not appetite, there n